Brexit behind new push for Scottish independence - poll

Scotland and the UK.
Scotland and the UK. Photo credit: Getty

Support for Scottish independence has risen to its highest point in the past four years, largely driven by voters who want to remain in the EU, according to a poll.

As the pro-independence Scottish National Party meets for its spring conference, the YouGov poll showed support for secession from the UK had risen to 49 percent from 45 percent at the last YouGov poll carried out for The Times in June 2018.

Scots rejected independence by 45-55 percent in a 2014 referendum. Then the UK voted to leave the EU in a 2016 referendum, but among its four nations Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to stay, feeding political tension.

Britain is mired in political chaos and it is still unclear when or even if it will leave the EU.

YouGov also found that 53 percent of Scots thought there should not be another referendum on independence within the next five years.

Scotland's First Minister and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon is pushing for one before 2021, when the current Scottish parliamentary terms ends.

YouGov polled 1029 adults in Scotland following a new guideline on independence set out by Sturgeon on Wednesday.

The poll, published on Saturday, also showed voters moving away from both the Conservatives and the Labour Party north of the English border.

The Scottish Conservatives, part of Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party, are set to lose their only representative in the European Parliament in next month's election as 40 percent of those who backed them two years ago switch to Nigel Farage's Brexit Party.

"These patterns represent a clear warning to the Unionist camp that the pursuit of Brexit might yet produce a majority for independence," Britain's leading polling expert Professor John Curtice wrote in a column for The Times.

Reuters